Water Resistant and Self-Healing Electronic Skin


A group of NUS scientists led by Assistant Teacher Benjamin Tee (back row, right) from NUS Products Science and Engineering produced a transparent electronic skin that repair work itself in both damp and dry conditions.
Front row (from left) Mr Li Si, doctoral trainee; Dr Tan Yu Jun, Research Study Fellow, Biomedical Institute for Global Health Research Study and Technology (BIGHEART); Mr Guo Hongchen, doctoral trainee, NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering. Back row (from left) Dr Lee Wang Wei, Research Study Fellow, BIGHEART; and Assistant Teacher Benjamin Tee.

Motivated by undersea invertebrates such as the jelly fish, Assistant Teacher Benjamin Tee and his group from NUS Products Science and Engineering, in cooperation with scientists from Tsinghua University, China and the University of California Riverside, U.S.A., produced an electronic skin with comparable performance.  The group of 8 scientists invested over a year establishing the product and its creation was reported in the journal Nature Electronic Devices on 15 February 2019

The electronic skin is transparent, elastic, touch-sensitive and has self-healing capabilities in water environments.  It might be utilized in whatever from waterproof touchscreens to water soft robots.

Asst Prof Tee has actually been dealing with electronic skin for several years and became part of the group that established the very first self-healing electronic skin sensing units in 2012.   They was successful in producing a gel including a fluorocarbon-based polymer with a fluorine-rich ionic liquid. When integrated, the polymer network connects with the ionic liquid by means of extremely reversible ion–dipole interactions, which enables it to self-heal. The product can maintain its shape in damp and dry environments, and works well in sea water, and acidic and alkaline environments.

The electronic skin is produced by printing the unique product into electronic circuits.  Being soft and elastic, the product’s electrical residential or commercial properties alter when touched, pushed or strained.

Stated Asst Prof Tee, who is likewise from NUS Electrical and Computer System Engineering and the Biomedical Institute for Global Health Research Study and Technology (BIGHEART) at NUS, “The 3D printability of our product likewise reveals prospective in producing completely transparent circuit boards that might be utilized in robotic applications. We hope that this product can be utilized to establish numerous applications in emerging kinds of soft robots.

Soft robots and soft electronic devices in basic, objective to simulate biological tissues to make them more mechanically certified for human-machine interactions. In addition to standard soft robot applications, this unique product’s water resistant technology allows the style of amphibious robots and waterproof electronic devices.

The self-healing electronic skin has the prospective to lower waste.  Countless tonnes of electronic waste from damaged cellphones and tablets, to name a few, are produced internationally every year.  The group wishes to produce a future where electronic gadgets made from smart products can carry out self-repair functions to lower the quantity of electronic waste on the planet.

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